Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Wed Nov 27 23:23:29 EST 2002

It was scary for a while Tuesday night. The fire
started about 11Am Tuesday, apparently becasue of a
cigarette butt thrown out of a car on the freeway
about 5Km North west of here (Toronto). By 2Pm the
kids were all sent home from school because the fire
was causing roads to be closed and houses were having
to be evacuated. My wife is currently working at this
school as well, we went home to prepare for a possible
fire (it wasn't too close to us yet). By five pm it
was threatening homes along a 10 km front and looked
like heading for kilaben Bay were I live. The bay
itself is about 1km from my house which is right in
the bush on the western (ie most threatened) edge of
town. The bay was being used by the water-bombing
helicopters to fill up and just before they stopped
flying they were taking much longer to collect water
when the flew south over us than they were to drop it
on the northern flights, meaning the fire was then
much closer than the lake. It was also frightening
that we could see most of the water bombers
concentrating near us. Our family cleared away debris,
hosed everything down, filled any available water
container and loaded up the cars with essentials.
There were photos, documents such as tax and insurance
records, back up disks of what was on the computers,
some clothes and what art works we could fit in. We
took our pets to my mother-in-laws, about 5km away in
a relatively safe area (she lives near the end of Coal
Point, a five 5km long peninsula into lake Macquarie -
easily cut off but unlikely to be burnt out). As it
got dark we could see the fire to the west of us,
about 500 metres away and stretching in a long line
north and south, burning slowly towards us. The wind
changed from a strong westerly to a mild easterly
which helped. The fire burnt towards us all through
the night, with the police advising us to leave our
house at about midnight. We drove the cars up unto the
road (we live about 100 metres off the road in the
bush) and waited there for an hour, at this time the
fire looked quite intense, flames 10-20metres into the
air, but still advancing very slowly. Even though the
local fire station, which as bushfire headquaters, is
only a couple of hundred metres from our house, there
were no fire engines nearby. We sat by our cars and
waited. After about an hour I returned to the house to
prepare to defend it with the garden hose, and several
fire engines arrived. the crews took their hoses down
past our house, and those on either side, as far as
the could (which was about 10metres past the house),
and we waited. The end was a bit of an anticlimax, as
soon as the fire came within reach of the hoses it was
quite easily extinguished, this was at about 5AM. The
fire got to about 25 metres from our house, and in the
end only one house and two factories were destroyed in
the area. I got about 6.30, after an hours sleep, and
surveyed the damage. there were plenty of smouldering
trees, and small patches of fire which neighbours and
I tried to put out with buckets of water (this is OK
for small patches of smouldering leaves but useless on
burning trees - these we just had to keep an eye on).
Fortunately it was relatively cool yesterday so
nothing flared up again, and we now feel safe.
It was quite awesome to see the S-64 skycrane
helicopter dropping water on the fire, a wonderful use
for a relic of the Vietnam war. Watching the line of
fire at night gave an amazing perspective on the form
of the land, as does seeing it burnt clear of
everything but the larger trees.

Jon Noble 
--- Elizabeth Evans <er.evans at> wrote:
> Jon  said:
> > who is currently recovering from nearly loosing
> his
> > house in a bushfire yesterday.
> Gosh, what a nasty experience! I hope everyone near
> and dear to you is safe
> and well.
> Regards
> Elizabeth.
> --
> To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with
> the body "unsubscribe".
> Visit the archives at

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.
To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list